Oh happy day! Or should we say olé! A holiday in Spain is well and truly back on the agenda for UAE residents this summer. Following the announcement by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, as of June 7, UAE residents who have been fully vaccinated with WHO or EMA-approved vaccines at least 14 days before their trip will be able to travel to Spain without the need for quarantine upon arrival.
“After long months of restrictions, finally we will be able to see tourists back from this region to Spain, where we are waiting to welcome them with our usual warmth and the highest health and security measures,” says Daniel Rosado, Director of the Spanish Tourism for Gulf countries. “In 2021, Spain hopes to receive more than 50% of the tourists that visited in 2019. June 7 will be the official start of the summer for us, where travel to Spain from the Gulf region is now finally possible.”
So what are the rules? Paper vaccination certificates issued in Spanish or English will be accepted, provided that the vaccine administered is one of those authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or included in the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing. These include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson as well as Sinopharm.
Unvaccinated minors in the same family unit may enter Spain with a negative PCR test, although children under the age of six do not need to be tested. The vaccination certificate or PCR of minors, however, must be provided on arrival.
However, it’s worth noting that the entry of vaccinated citizens from non-EU countries without additional health requirements may be reversed in the event of a worsening of the epidemiological situation in the country of origin or circulation of variants.
Hot on the heels of the launch of COVID-safe flights from the UAE to Italy last month and a soon-to-be-opened travel corridor between the two countries, this sizzling piece of Spanish news couldn’t be more welcomed by UAE residents desperate for a summer holiday. So if you’ve got your sights set on Europe this summer – and let’s face it, who hasn’t? – here are six other countries that you can consider:
Cyprus recently announced that it will be accepting vaccinated travellers from 65 countries (including the UAE) with no restrictions. Those who have had both doses of the vaccine will be able to holiday in the country without having to provide a negative COVID-19 test nor quarantine.
The UAE established travel corridors with four countries in May, one of which was Greece, meaning vaccinated travellers from the UAE do not need to quarantine upon arrival – irrespective of whether the destinations are on Abu Dhabi’s Green List. If you needed more reason to book your Greek getaway right now, Wizz Air has just released amazing offers on direct flights from Abu Dhabi to Santorini (tickets start at less than AED 150 one way), placing a trip to Greek islands on the top of our summer wish list.
Travellers from the UAE can visit Georgia with a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of arrival. You’ll need to take another one on the third day of your trip, but those who have received both doses of a WHO-approved vaccine will not need to take either test. There are also restricted operating hours in bars and restaurants.
Italy formally reopened its borders on Sunday, May 16 for restriction-free travel for visitors from a number of countries, including EU member states, the UK, and Israel, provided they could show proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test, or that they had recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months. Much like visitors from the US, fully vaccinated visitors from the UAE will now be able to travel to Italy on a COVID-safe flight without the need to quarantine upon arrival.
Serbia is one of the four countries to have established a travel corridor with the UAE, so visitors from the emirates do not need to quarantine when they arrive. Shopping malls, restaurants, and some tourist attractions have reopened in capital Belgrade and across the country.
Turkey is open to travellers from the UAE – simply bring your PCR test valid as of 72 hours and fill in the passenger information form upon arrival. As long as you meet the Turkish immigration rules, you can fly to Turkey from any nation with the current exceptions of Brazil and South Africa. Passengers who have been in Brazil, India, or South Africa in the past 10 days are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Disclaimer: As the pandemic continues, travel information is subject to change on a daily basis. The aforementioned details were accurate at the time of writing, but updates that affect your travel can occur at any time. If you are planning a trip, please ensure that you are aware of the safety risks and have prepared accordingly.